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  • Writer's pictureLiveAlumni

Early Decision Parents: The Hidden Donor Base

In the world of higher education fundraising, institutions continuously seek innovative ways to identify potential donors. One often overlooked demographic are the parents of early decision students.

In a discussion with a partner institution, one innovative LiveAlumni user shared the idea that these parents may be a valuable resource for colleges and universities seeking to expand their pool of prospects. As we delve deeper into this topic, we'll uncover the reasons why early decision parents can be an asset for fundraising and share strategies to effectively engage them.

The Connection Between Early Decision Parents and Fundraising Potential

1. Financial Capability

Early decision students typically apply to their top-choice institution under the agreement that they will attend if accepted. As a result, these students and their families often forego the opportunity to compare financial aid offers from multiple institutions. This suggests that early decision parents may possess the financial means to support their child's education without relying on extensive financial aid packages.

2. Commitment to the Institution

When a student applies for early decision, it signals a strong commitment to the institution. This commitment often extends to their parents, who may be more inclined to support the college or university financially. By engaging early decision parents in fundraising efforts, institutions can tap into this sense of loyalty and dedication.

Pro Tip: Use LiveAlumni employment data to identify early decision parents who hold executive or leadership positions in their companies. These individuals may have greater financial resources and a higher propensity to give.

Strategies for Engaging Early Decision Parents in Fundraising

1. Identify Early Decision Parents

Start by collaborating with the admissions department to gather information about early decision students and their families. With this data in hand, you can segment your prospect pool and identify parents who may have the financial means and inclination to donate.

2. Personalized Outreach

Develop targeted outreach strategies for early decision parents, acknowledging their unique position in the college community. Personalize communications by mentioning their child's early decision status and the family's commitment to the institution. This approach will help build rapport and demonstrate your appreciation for their support.

3. Involve Parents in the Campus Community

Engage early decision parents by inviting them to participate in campus events and activities. This can include orientation sessions, parents' weekends, or special receptions dedicated to early decision families. By fostering a sense of community, you can create a stronger connection between these parents and the institution.

4. Showcase the Impact of Donations

When reaching out to early decision parents for fundraising, emphasize the impact of their contributions on the institution and its students. Share stories of how donations have made a difference in areas such as scholarships, research, and campus facilities. By demonstrating the tangible benefits of their support, you can encourage early decision parents to contribute to the institution's ongoing success.

Pro Tip: Leverage LiveAlumni salary data to showcase the success of alumni in various industries. This can help demonstrate the value of an education at your institution and encourage early decision parents to invest in its future.

5. Maintain Long-term Relationships

Build lasting relationships with early decision parents by maintaining regular communication throughout their child's college journey. Keep them informed about campus news, events, and achievements, and express your gratitude for their continued support. A strong, ongoing relationship will increase the likelihood of their continued involvement and financial contributions.

Building Strategies Around Early Decision Parents as the Hidden Donor Base

We love speaking to and learning from our users. We hope this blog sparks a discussion amongst other schools about the untapped potential of early decision parents as unique and valuable donors.

By targeting and engaging these parents through tailored outreach and personalized communication, colleges and universities can access their financial capacity and dedication to the institution. This approach not only strengthens fundraising efforts but also supports Higher Ed’s core mission of delivering a great educational experience for all students.

And don't forget - leveraging essential resources, such as employment and salary data, can refine your institution's understanding and strategies even further.

Learn More

Interested in learning more and/or implementing some of strategies around early decision parents being a hidden donor base? Get in touch with us and we'll be happy to share more details.


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